With the third season of "The Walking Dead" already shooting, we're all interested to see how showrunner Glen Mazzara can amp up this next season to pack an even stronger emotional punch than its predecessor.
Mazzara and writers Scott Gimple and Angela Kang participated in a new Nerdist podcast to talk about the process of making season two and what we have in store for season three. The hour-long chat is definitely worth a listen if you're a fan of the series, but we've parsed out some of the meatier bits for your reading pleasure.
Mazzara addressed the recurring criticism that the first seven episodes of "The Walking Dead" were paced too slowly. He said that those were the episodes that were arced out before former showrunner Frank Darabond left the series, and that the writing staff were "flying by the seat of our pants" after his firing.
"I felt that that criticism of it moving slow, I only buy that criticism so much," he said. "I don't think the show moves slower than any other show on TV, any other character drama. The problem with this particular show or that expectation, is this is a marriage of a character drama and a horror show. So there's this added expectation."
He also touched upon the deaths of two main characters (spoilers! Dale and Shane) that occurred towards the end of the season. While the Shane death was always intended to happen, the Dale death didn't get greenlit until after Darabont was fired.
"Originally we came up with the idea of killing Dale. Frank didn't want to do that," Mazzara said. "So we backed off that storyline and then I became showrunner and I was like, 'Oh, what do we do? It's all on the table now.' We knew we were going to get to the Shane death and the Shane death was going to play in the finale as it was scripted in the comic book."
Fans who are worried about season three starting off as slow as season two, Mazzara says your fears are unfounded.
"People are now reading the script for the season premiere of season three, and they're just like, 'Wow, it's balls out, it's fast, it's moving,' and we're not taking our foot off the gas. We're just going to keep going," he teased.
What do you think of Mazzara's assessment of season two? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!